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Mice in a converted vivarium?

Hey there, I've been looking all over for a decent all-round rodent forum, and I found this! XD My name's Mal, and when my bearded dragon has moved into his new vivarium, I'm hoping to convert his old/current one so I can keep some mice in there.

 I've never kept mice before, so I'm not sure how many I could keep in there - it's about 36inches by 15inches, so like 560sq, I think? - but I don't think I could commit to more than three or four at maximum. I'm planning only to have does - from a reputable breeder, since I'm not near enough to any small animal rescues - as well, so they should get along better, right?

What I'm going to do to the viv is replace the sliding glass doors with typical wire cage bars - if I find an old one on gumtree or somewhere I can cut the panels to size with a boltcutter - and replace the plastic vent covers with strong wire mesh. 

Any other tricks and tips about keeping mice in such an enviroment would be appreciated! Do they need lots of separate hidey holes? Do they need their own wheels and bowls like dwarf hamsters would? What kind of wheel is best for mice? Would those flying-saucer type ones would?


  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 820
    Hi and welcome.Your viv idea sounds great. I always think a mouse cage should be full of hidey places and toys because mice love that type of set up. I have females and have never had separate bowls or wheels, they will just share them. I also use the flying saucers for my mice and they love them. One of my groups is in a zoozone cage and because I wanted them to have a bit more climbing opportunities I bought them kids toys, things like plastic Noah's arks etc and they adore them.Hope this helps :D
  • PotteryWalrusPotteryWalrus Lemming
    Posts: 3
    Oooh, are they okay with plastic, then? I would be a bit concerned about them chewing the kind of plastic used for kids toys and making themselves sick? 

    (Now wants to keep an eye out for cheap plastic dinosaurs that holes can be cut into as hiding places :3) 
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 820
    I have used plastic toys especially ones from the 'Happy land' and 'little people ' range and never had a problem :D I would be more careful of the cheap what I call 'soft' plastic toys as I'm not sure how safe they are.
  • PotteryWalrusPotteryWalrus Lemming
    Posts: 3
    Ahhh, okay, that works :D
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,047

    Hi Mal and welcome to the forum.

    Something to consider if you intend to replace the glass doors of the viv with bars - you need to look for bars with small gaps between them (ie. 7-8mm bar spacing) as small mice can sometimes squeeze out of cages designed for Syrian Hamsters. It might be easier to create extra vent holes in the sides of the viv and mesh them as you were suggesting.

  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    Just wanted to say that the size of the vivarium sounds really great, but keep in mind that mice are a little bit agoraphobic (scared of open spaces) so the more you pack it full of toys and things to hide in, the more confident they will feel. My cage would look cluttered to some, but that's the way mice like it :D

    Mice tend to be fine with plastic toys, mine don't tend to chew them, or chew very very minimally (usually to "test" an object when it is new). They love and need wooden toys to chew though, to keep their teeth trim. Girl mice can share things happily, but depending on the number of mice you're getting, it may be better to have more than one wheel, so that they don't have to wait in line for their turn (lol). I like to have one regular wheel and one flying saucer wheel, just for fun - lots of mice will run on them together, it's super cute!

    For your first lot of mice, maybe 3 girls might be nice? 3 makes a complete colony, but not too much for you too handle. But with a vivarium of that size I'd think you could happily keep around 5 mice. That's just my opinion though, others could say more or less :)
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
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